Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Much time has passed since Larry Clark discovered Harmony Korine skateboarding in Washington Square Park and hired him to write "Kids." In its wake, Korine exploded into the mainstream as a radical artist with a bad boy streak. His first two features, "Gummo" and the Dogme '95 entry "Julian Donkey-boy," divided critics and furthered his reputation as a fiercely independent figure. Just when his world seemed to be moving too fast, Korine left New York City for his native home in Nashville, got married and made a new movie to reflect his comparatively happier state of mind.

"Mister Lonely" stars Diego Luna as a disillusioned Michael Jackson impersonator whisked off by a faux Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) to a strangely fascinating commune of like-minded characters. In a separate storyline, Werner Herzog plays a priest whose team of nuns inexplicably learns how to fly. In e-mail exchanges over several months and during an interview last week in New York City (where "Mister Lonely" is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival prior to its May 2 release), Korine discussed the themes of the movie, his general filmmaking philosophies, and the dubious case of the Malingerers. IFC First Take opens "Mister Lonely" in limited release Friday.

indieWIRE: Have your expectations for the way the film is received changed since last year's Cannes premiere?

Harmony Korine: I try not to think about it too much. I have never been good at gauging reactions to my films. I remember thinking "Gummo" would be embraced by the public in much the same way as "Bambi" was when it first came out. I am always wrong about such things.

iW: There's a point in the film when the story gets significantly bleaker. Did you always intend to have reality intrude on the movie's surreal sense of beauty?

HK: Yes, this is one of the central themes of the film. Reality always seems to trounce the dream. Nothing too good lasts too long. Fuck it and enjoy while you can.

Read the rest of the interview in indieWIRE...

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